The Many-Arrows War

The Counter-Offensive

Umber Hulk and Treachery

King Bruenor Battlehammer tells the group that he and a few hundred mighty warriors had reclaimed the city from the duergar and drow not too many years ago, but there were parts of the city that still remained in enemy hands, namely the lower sections of the city that connected to the Underdark. These sections his men had sealed off from the rest of the city to prevent incursions up into the center of the city, like the Vault of Kings and the Iron Tabernacle, and over the years. But now, the marring of the shrine of Abbathor had provoked Bruenor’s wrath and he swore that he would end these incursions once and for all.

After forming a plan with his pale and monotonous advisor, Cedrik Runecarver, the king assembled fifty of his toughest veterans to march into the depths of the city and strike a blow against the duergar that they would not soon recover from. Several of the dwarf warriors carried blasting disks and thunderstones that would be used to completely demolish a section deep beneath the city that the dwarves called the Shrine of Sacrilege. It was an unholy room that the duergar used to worship their god, Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells. Furthermore, the great room served as an entrance into the lower parts of the city from the Underdark, and the king was convinced that blowing up this room would not only demoralize the duergar, it would also buy the dwarves further time to reclaim more of the city and bolster its defenses.

Cedrik himself volunteered to lead the expedition, and the group also agreed to help the dwarves fight for their city.

And so they marched, deep, deep down through abandoned mines and twisting tunnels. Eventually they came to a fork where one branch would lead directly to the entrance of the Shrine of Sacrilege, but Cedrik said that he knew a secret way into the shrine, a back way in that would allow the dwarves to catch whoever was guarding the shrineroom unaware. And so they took the other branch, which eventually gave way to a very narrow offshoot. The dwarf veterans followed Cedrik into this narrow tunnel and the group stayed up front near the king’s advisor.

Not long later, Cedrik suddenly started running forward ahead of the group and the fifty marching dwarves, and shouted, “NOW! NOW! NOW!” Moments later, the tunnel behind him began collapsing, burying the dwarven army. The group of adventurers, being near the front managed to dive forward out of the way. Only a few of them were hit by the falling rocks, but those who were not helped the others out from under the rubble. The dwarven veterans, however, were all seemingly completely buried.

Cedrik turned around and saw that the adventurers had made it out of the collapse alive. He whistled several times, and an Umber Hulk burrowed out of the tunnel ahead of them and tried to mesmerize them and hold them off while its master escaped. The group was too strong, however, and managed not only to kill the Umber Hulk, but also to shoot down Cedrik.

However, just as Cedrik was dying, his skull split open, and a brain-like creature with legs scurried away into a small hole in the side of the tunnel.

The group, having a moment to compose themselves, did their best to try to move the rocks away behind them to try to free as many of the dwarves as they could. However, the rocks were simply too heavy, and the few dwarves they managed to get to were already dead. On their bodies, however, the group did find a few bags of explosives. When they were digging, on the other side of the wall of rubble they could hear horrible screams of agony that soon turned into silence.

Having no other option but to head forward, the group continued toward the secret entrance into the Shrine of Sacrilege. When they came to the secret door, they pushed it open only a crack to see and hear what they could before entering.

There, standing on top of a great altar, the god Asmodeus was being worshiped by dozens of duergar. Suddenly, a voice in Torment’s head began speaking to him.


joshua_koestler joshua_koestler

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